Ireland, helpless against misery and superstition, misled by hatred against her conquerors, the rulers of England, formed sects to fight not so much the evil, as the supposed authors of the evil.
-from "Irish Societies"
From the modern intrigue of conspiracy theories to the immense popularity of The Da Vinci Code, the fascination with secret societies-and their arcane knowledge and power-has never been so rampant. This monumental, encyclopedic work details the initiations and ceremonies, the codes and customs of mysterious organizations from ancient times to the modern world. First published in 1875 and completely revised and updated in 1897, this remains the definitive, authoritative guide to secret societies... and to the spiritual evolution of humanity they represent.
Volume II features:
. an in-depth exploration of Freemasonry, from its origins and traditions to its influence in the histories of England, Scotland, France, and Italy
. political secret societies, including anarchists, Napoleonic organizations, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians
. minor groups such as the Cambridge Secret Society, Phi-Beta-Kappa, and Society of the Turf.
Also available from Cosimo Classics: The Secret Societies of All Ages & Countries: Vol. 1.
British historian and author CHARLES WILLIAM HECKETHORN (c. 1826-1902) was born in Switzerland but emigrated to England as a child. Among his writings are a novel, a book of verse, translations of Scandinavian folklore, and the travelogues Italian Lights and Shadows, London Souvenirs, and London Memories.